The pressures of grade school are traumatic enough for most kids. Throw a bully into the mix, however, and they become far more complicated. Such were the tribulations of a boy named Clifford in the cult-classic film from 1980, My Bodyguard.
Chris Makepeace plays Clifford Peache, a boy of privilege who has recently relocated to a new school in Chicago. His daily arrivals at school in a limousine attract the attention of the school bullies, led by Melvin Moody (played by a young Matt Dillon.) Soon, Clifford is faced with either handing over his lunch money or taking a beating. When the school authorities are unable to protect him, he turns to Linderman, a loner with a reputation that most of the school fears, and offers to pay for protection.
At first, the plan seems to work. Not only does the bullying stop but Clifford also begins to develop a friendship with his new bodyguard. That is, until the crafty Moody reciprocates with his own bodyguard, a hulking thug named Mike. When Moody and Mike taunt Linderman about his past, he backs down and Clifford is soon back where he started. He learns that he will have to fight his own battles after all if he ever wants bring some peace to his life.
My Bodyguard was all about the colorful, three-dimensional characters. Bringing them to life were a host of talented actors including the above-mentioned Makepeace and Dillon, along with Alan Baldwin as Linderman, Martin Mull as Clifford’s often-absent father, and Ruth Gordon as his feisty grandmother. The film also featured early appearances from George Wendt (Cheers) Joan Cusack and Jennifer Beals.
While My Bodyguard only reached modest levels of success at the box office, it would go on to achieve cult-status in later video and cable releases, propelled by its honesty, charm, and instant connection with the heart of anyone who ever faced a bully and lived to tell the tale.
If were a fan of this endearing 80s movie, we welcome your thoughts in our comments section, as we tip our hats to this feelgood cult classic from yesteryear.